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#101246 - 08/01/07 01:17 AM Opinions on short Brush Hook Axe/Machete
SwampDonkey Offline

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1268
Loc: Northeastern Ontario, Canada

For about 20 years now I have owned and used a short Fiskar Brush Hook type machete and have been very pleased with it. The tool is about 18 inches long total with a 10 inch carbon steel blade and 8 inch solid plastic handle (the current model has a hollow handle). The blade is about 1/8th of an inch thick with a curved belly and sharp forward hook at the end. I have really abused this tool mostly cutting out trails, campsites and preparing big game hunting stands. When sharp it reliably cuts one inch dia. hardwood brush along the trailside with one swipe and I usually do this as I am walking, I do not even stop to brace the brush with my other hand. When a branch is struck in the "hook" portion of the blade it is cut through with ease. Larger trees are usually bent over, then cut and trees bigger than 3 inches in dia. take multiple hits but can be felled. I usually carry a folding saw (or use a chainsaw) for material over 3 inches in dia. as it is quicker and easier,

The compact size of the short Brush Hook usually means I have it in my pack and it proforms very well for it's size. Because I usually have the Brush hook or similar tool (Sandvick, saw, or axe) with me to do the heavy work I carry a smaller, handy belt knife with a blade length of less than 5 inches.

Similar Brush Hook tools are is made by other companies such as; a Woodsman's Pal Axe. a Gerber Brush Thinning Machete and a Wetterlings Clearing Blade.

I also use a Sandvik Swedish Brush (Safety) Axe a lot and although it can cut larger trees with less effort, it is not as compact or handy as the short Brush Hook.

So my question for ETS members is, "how do other compact hand tools (like a machete, parang or kukri) compare to the Brush Hook for trail/campsite clearing of woody material under 3 inches in diameter"



#101252 - 08/01/07 01:41 AM Re: Opinions on short Brush Hook Axe/Machete [Re: SwampDonkey]
OldBaldGuy Offline

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
You know, I just don't know, having never used a short brush hook. 12" machete yes, 18" machete yes, hatchet, short axe, full sized axe, full sized brush hook yes. I have a kukri, but for some reason I have a hard time hitting where I am aiming with it, so I don't use it much. I have looked at the Woodsmans Pal for years, but never took the plunge. Sorry...

#101272 - 08/01/07 04:55 AM Re: Opinions on short Brush Hook Axe/Machete [Re: OldBaldGuy]
lukus Offline

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 170
Loc: TEXAS (where else?)
I used to use machetes quite a bit, then a few years ago I got one of the fiskars/gerber brush hooks. I'll never go back. Brush and branches don't bounce out of the cut and the blade doesn't skip out of the cut on heavier stuff. It's a cuttin' machine!

#101305 - 08/01/07 10:36 PM Re: Opinions on short Brush Hook Axe/Machete [Re: SwampDonkey]
Woodsloafer Offline

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 122
Loc: Upstate NewYork
I've had my Woodman's Pal for a number of years and used it in the milirary (US Army), canoe trips in Ontario and Quebec and around my property. It's great for cutting brush, limbs and small trees.

I sure wouldn't want to build a log cabin with it, but it comes in handy when your belt knife just isn't enough. (Yes, I know batonning is the answer to many members cutting/spliting requirements.) It doesn't replace an axe when the bigger stuff needs chopping.

The Pal I own has the 12" blade with the leather handle and knuckle guard. I would like to see the Woodmans Pal made of stainless. Many years, the previous manufacturer offered models with saw teeth on the long edge opposite the cutting edge
"There is nothing so frightening as ignorance in action."


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